Russia Reduces Gas Flow to Serbia over Unpaid Debt

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | November 1, 2014, Saturday // 12:59
Bulgaria: Russia Reduces Gas Flow to Serbia over Unpaid Debt

Russia has cut gas deliveries to Serbia by 28% over the past week, Serbia’s Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic has said.

He attributed the cut to a drop in gas supplies by Russia’s Gazprom Export to all other countries receiving gas via the Ukraine transit route and Serbia’s debt for past deliveries totalling USD 224M.

According to Antic, Serbia has received 3.2 million cubic meters of gas from Russia over the past week, instead of 4.5 million cubic meters per day.

“In any scenario, Serbia has no reason to worry, and we will have no problems concerning the gas supply, as we have a stable long-term contract with Gazprom, as well as domestic supplies and additional quantities stored in Banatski Dvor,” Tanjug news agency quoted Antic as saying.

Antic said that he would meet with Russian partners next week to discuss debt rescheduling, adding that the first tranche of USD 100M could be paid by the end of 2014.

Serbian daily Danas reported earlier that Russia has decided to cut gas supplies to Serbia after Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic refused to sign a protocol for the repayment of USD 200M in Serbia's debt for past Russian gas deliveries during the recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Belgrade.

According to unnamed sources quoted by Danas, Vucic had refused to sign guarantees that Serbia will repay the entire debt by March 2015 because he believed  Russia is already making a huge profit in Serbia via NIS”.

Russia’s Gazprom Neft acquired 51% of Serbia’s oil monopoly NIS for EUR 400M in 2008. The Serbian government has since argued Russia benefited from the deal much more than Serbia and has hinted it would seek to revise it, something Moscow has ruled out.

"We have partner relations with Russia," Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Ivanovic told the N1 channel . "We are prepared to pay USD 100M swiftly, but we must work like partners and talk every day."

Serbia relies mostly on supplies from Russia via Ukraine and Hungary to meet its gas needs.The country’s Banatski Dvor underground gas storage has been filled to its capacity of 450 million cubic meters - enough to meet household demand for about three months.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Southeast Europe » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Russia, Serbia, gas, Putin, NIS, Banatski Dvor, Antic, Vucic, Ivanovic, transit route, Ukraine, Gazprom, Gazprom Neft

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria